Patent application title: Deck mounting bracket with spacer and mounting tabs
William Jacob Prichard (Sturgis, MI, US)
Randal Lee Johnson (Sturgis, MI, US)
IPC8 Class: AE04B138FI
Class name: Static structures (e.g., buildings) assembled in situ-type anchor or tie depending cantilevered seat portion; e.g., joist anchor
Publication date: 2008-09-18
Patent application number: 20080222993
A deck mounting bracket for hidden use in installing parallel deck boards
oriented transverse to joists includes an upwardly oriented joist member
joined at a top edge with a transverse deck member to form a generally
L-shaped bracket. The bracket includes tabs projecting outwardly from the
top edge of the joist member. The tabs are planar with a flat planar top
surface of the transverse deck member. The bracket includes a spacer
projecting upwardly from the top surface of the deck member. In use, the
tabs of the bracket are placed on the top of a joist and a deck board
placed transverse to the joist rests on one of the tabs to retain the
mounting bracket in place. The bracket is slid until the spacer contacts
a side face of the deck board. An installer then fastens the bracket to
the joist and to the deck board from below the deck board. Thus the
fastener secured to the deck member is hidden and no hole is formed in a
top face of the deck board.
1. A deck screwing bracket for securing a deck board transverse to a joist
comprising:an upwardly oriented joist member having a planar side for
contacting a side face of a joist;a transverse deck member joined to a
top edge of said joist member to form a generally L-shaped bracket, said
transverse deck member having a planar top face for contacting a bottom
side of a deck board;tabs projecting outwardly from the top edge of said
joist member and planar with the top face of said transverse deck member;
anda spacer projecting upwardly from the planar top face of said
transverse deck member for providing a predetermined distance between
adjacent parallel deck boards abutting the spacer.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO PRIOR APPLICATION
This application claims priority under 35 USC §119(e) of co-pending provisional application Ser. No. 60/899,755 filed Feb. 6, 2007, the entire disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to a mounting bracket for use in the construction of a deck. Specifically, the present invention provides a deck mounting bracket for spacing and fastening deck boards to a joist from the underside of the deck boards.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Deck structures are generally formed by two or more wooden joists spanned by a plurality of boards secured from topside by driving fasteners through the boards and into the joist. The fasteners, such as nails, are displeasing in appearance. For instance, the nails can rust or provide an inflow path for water to seep into the deck board. Water can cause warping of deck boards. In some instances warping results in nails projecting slightly upwardly from the top face of a deck board. This poses a hazard.
One prior art arrangement mounts deck boards to joists from underneath the deck board. An L-shaped bracket is fastened to the joist. The bracket has a spacer projecting upwardly therefrom. A deck board is placed sidewardly in contact with the spacer. The bracket is then secured to the deck board.
When the bracket is pressed against a joist and the spacer against a transverse deck board, an installer must hold the bracket in place while fastening the bracket to the joist. The installer must grip the mounting bracket, hold a fastener such as a screw, and a screwdriver simultaneously. Thus, this task is difficult for an installer.
It is desirable to provide a hands free deck bracket, wherein the bracket is placed on the joist and deck board, and remains in position so that an installer can easily obtain fasteners, such as screws, and fasten the bracket to the joist and deck board.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a deck mounting bracket for joining spaced deck boards to joists to form a deck structure. The brackets are designed to mount flush against a side face of the joists and flush against a bottom surface of the deck boards. The bracket has a first upwardly oriented joist member and a second sidewardly oriented transverse deck member extending transversely from a top edge of the joist member. The brackets further include tabs projecting outwardly transverse at the top edge of the upwardly oriented member for positioning flush against the to of the joist. The tabs are in the same plane as the planar face of the transverse member of the bracket that is intended to abut the bottom surface of the deck boards. In use, the mounting bracket is placed on the joist with the tabs on a top surface thereof. The bracket is then slid toward a deck board generally transverse to the joist. A tab slides between the joist and deck board thereon until a spacer projecting upwardly from the transverse member contacts a side face of the deck board wherein the tab is sandwiched between the opposing faces of the joist and deck board and thereby held in place by the weight of the deck board. An installer may then release the bracket to obtain fasteners, such as screws. In particular, the bracket is held in place by the tab in surface-to-surface contact on one side with the top edge of the joist and on the other side with a portion of the bottom of the deck board. Thus, the installer can use both hands to obtain and align a fastener to secure the bracket to the joist and deck board.
Further, other embodiments of the invention permit the installation of deck boards at angles other than perpendicular to the joists. In these embodiments, the spacer has a rounded generally cylindrical shape. The shape allows deck boards to be angled relative to the joist while maintaining a constant gap size between adjacent deck boards.
The invention also contemplates a different angle for the mounting holes that receive fasteners to secure the bracket to a deck board. The holes are aligned skewed instead of perpendicular to the deck board bottom face.
In another embodiment, an additional feature is a projection within the open deck screw hole that is generally transverse to the axis of the hole. The projection applies a force against a screw inserted partially beyond the projection in the hole. The force retains the screw within the screw hole when the bracket is moved about. Thus, when the bracket is placed so that a tab is between the joist and a deck board, the screws are maintained in their respective holes. Therefore, an installer need not constantly hold the bracket or the screws when mounting the bracket to the deck board and a user friendly installation process results.
The foregoing features provide an improved deck bracket arrangement, wherein other objects and purposes of the invention, and variations thereof, will be apparent upon reading the following specification and inspecting the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a deck mounting bracket including a spacer.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the deck mounting bracket of FIG. 1 mounted to a floor joist and a deck board.
FIG. 3 is a sectional end view taken at line 3-3 of FIG. 2 showing the deck mounting bracket attached to a floor joist and a deck board.
FIG. 4 is a sectional side view of another embodiment of a deck bracket attached to a floor joist and two deck boards.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an angle deck mounting bracket having a round spacer.
FIG. 6 is a top view of the angle deck bracket of FIG. 5 mounted to a floor joist and a deck board.
FIG. 7 is a top view of the angle deck bracket arrangement of FIG. 6 including a second spaced deck board.
Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience and reference only and will not be limiting. The words "up", "down", "top", "bottom", "left" and "right" will designate directions in the drawings to which reference is made. The words "in" and "out" will refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the device and designated parts thereof. Such terminology will include derivatives and words of similar import.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
FIGS. 1 and 2 show one embodiment of a deck mounting bracket 20 used to join deck boards 22 to floor joists 24. The mounting bracket 20 includes a first upwardly oriented joist member 26 and a second sidewardly oriented transverse deck member 28 that extends transversely from a top edge of member 26 to form a generally L-shaped bracket. As shown in FIG. 1, a supporting rib or gusset 38 is joined to a front side of member 26 and to a corresponding bottom side of member 28 to strengthen the joined edges therebetween.
The upwardly oriented member 26 of the mounting bracket 20 has three screw holes 34 opening sidewardly for attaching the mounting bracket to the side face 24A of the joist 24. The three screw holes 34 each have a countersink to receive the head of a standard wood screw. At least one side surface 26A of the upwardly oriented member 26 is flat defining a generally planar surface facing sidewardly.
The transverse member 28 includes two screw holes 36 that pass vertically through two thickened portions 40. A top surface 28A of the transverse member 28 is generally planar and perpendicular to the planar surface 26A of the member 26. The centerline axis of each screw hole 36 is perpendicular to the planar top surface of the transverse member 28. The screw holes 36 in the thickened portions have a countersink to receive the head of a wood screw.
A generally rectangular spacer 30 projects upwardly from the top surface at the rear edge of the transverse member 28. The spacer 30 has a rectangular shape except for a curved portion of constant radius on the top thereof as shown in FIG. 1.
The mounting bracket 20 includes two thin locator tabs 32 that project rearwardly and outwardly from the top edge of the planar surface of the upwardly oriented member 26. The tabs 32 have a top surface that is a planar extension of the top surface of the transverse member 28. The tabs 32 are spaced equidistantly from the central axis of the rectangular spacer 30.
Referring to FIG. 2, decking such as a deck board 22 is placed across the joist 24. An installer places the mounting bracket 20 on the joist top surface 46 with the two tabs 32 overhanging the top of joist 24 and the member 26 abutting the side of the joist. The installer then slides the mounting bracket 20 underneath the adjacent deck board 22 until the spacer 30 sidewardly abuts the side face 22A of the deck board 22. Thus a part of the top surface 28A of the transverse member 28 abuts the underside of the deck board 22 and the respective tab 32 (not viewable in FIG. 2) nests or is sandwiched between the underside 22B of the deck board 22 and the top face 46 of the joist 24. The tab 32, along with the rear surface 26A of the upwardly oriented member 26, provides a cantilever effect that prevents pivotal movement of the mounting bracket 20 so that the bracket 20 does not fall from the deck structure being constructed. Thus the installer can release the mounting bracket 20 placed on the joist 24 and under the deck board 22 and the bracket 20 remains in place by the weight of the deck board 22. Therefore hands free support of the mounting bracket 20 during installation is provided.
After placing the bracket 20, next the installer preferably attaches the bracket 20 to the wooden joist 24 with a wood screw 44, preferably inserted sidewardly through the countersunk center screw hole 34. By utilizing the center hole 34 only, the mounting bracket 20 is allowed to move slightly about the centerline of the screw 44 as the completed deck structure moves with time due to settling, temperature changes and weather. The two remaining screw holes 34 are generally only used when there is an imperfection in the wood of the joist 24 in the area of the center screw hole 34 wherein preferably only one of the three screw holes 34 is used.
Mounting the screw 44 into the side of the joist 24 prevents water from entering a screw hole that is formed at the top 46 of the deck board as is common in fastening devices that attach the deck board to the joist from above.
FIG. 3 is a cross-section taken at line 3-3 in FIG. 2, except the joist screw 44 is shown inserted into the left joist hole 34. The spacer 30 is in sideward contact with the side face 22A of the deck board 22 and the screw hole 36 in the thickened portion 40 is arranged flush with a bottom surface 22B of the deck board 22. Thus the bracket 20 is ready to receive a screw 42 in the deck board screw hole 36 to fix the deck board 22 to the bracket 20. A second screw 42 then fixes the bracket 20 to the deck board 22.
After the deck board 22 is attached as described above, the next deck board 22 is then slid into place on the joist 24 and pushed sidewardly up against upright spacer 30 of the bracket 20 and held firmly by the installer while the screw 42 is screwed into the underside of the deck board 22 through the countersunk hole 36. The spacer 30 forces the deck boards 22 to be properly spaced at a predetermined distance for allowing water from above to pass between the boards in order to prevent rotting of the wooden deck structure.
In the FIG. 4 embodiment, wood screws 42 securely attach adjacent deck boards 22 to the mounting bracket 20 entering from the underside of the deck board 22 via the through holes 36. The screws 42 seat in a countersink in the thick section 40 of the mounting bracket 20 designed for this purpose.
The holes 36 and screws 42 are oriented at a skewed angle shown in FIG. 4 relative to the plane of the top surface 28A of the transverse member 28. Thus the mounted screws 42 are not oriented perpendicular to the planar surface of member 28 as in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3. Mounting the screw 42 in an angled screw hole 36 results in a better securement to the deck boards 22 as the tips of each screw extend away from the closest edge of the respective deck board 22. Therefore the deck board 22 is less likely to splinter or otherwise break due to the screws closeness to the closest edge of the board. Further, the angled screw 42 tends to draw the bracket 20 sidewardly against the first mounted board 22 and then the second screw 42 draws the next mounted board 22 against the bracket spacer 30 for a tight, consistent fit.
Referring to FIG. 4, a screw retainer is defined by a small angular projection that extends radially inwardly from an inside center edge of each of the deck board mounting holes 36 of the bracket 20. The projection 50 confines the deck screw 42 when it is placed into the hole and the screw tip is forced beyond the projection 50. The projection 50 keeps the screw 42 from falling out during installation. This feature also prevents the installer from dropping a screw 42 during hands free installation.
While a single projection 50 is shown, plural projections or other structural arrangements may be provided for retaining a screw. The projection 50 is preferably dimensioned to fit radially in the grooves of the screw 42 while allowing the screw tip or other type of fastener to pass thereby with minimal force. In some embodiments, the screws 42 may be inserted into the mounting holes 36 before the brackets 20 are sold to minimize the time and effort required by an installer.
FIG. 3 shows a material saver space 48. Space 48 defines openings in the upwardly oriented member 26. Space 48 opens into the generally flat rear surface of the upwardly oriented member 28. The space 48 located below each tab 32 is designed in part to help remove unnecessary material from the thickened portion 40.
While a single spacer 30 on a single joist 24 is illustrated, the invention utilizes plural spacers on at least two preferably substantially parallel joists for aligning deck boards along their entire length parallel to adjacent deck boards.
FIGS. 5-7 illustrate an alternative embodiment of the invention. The mounting bracket 54 permits mounting of deck boards at a desired angle relative to the length of the joist that the bracket it is attached to. The mounting bracket 54 is formed substantially the same as bracket 20 and thus, common points are identified by common reference numerals and the following description primarily addresses the differences in bracket 54.
FIG. 5 shows the mounting bracket 54 possessing two supporting ribs 38 and a round cylindrical spacer 52 extending upwardly and perpendicular to the flat surface of transverse member 28. The horizontal length of the mounting bracket 54 is increased along with the spacing of the screw holes 36 relative to the axis of the upright spacer 52. Thus, the length or width between the centerlines of the screw holes 36 of the mounting bracket 54 is greater than the length or width between the centerlines of the screw holes in the mounting bracket 20 shown in FIG. 4.
The mounting bracket 54 is placed against joist 24 with the two tabs 32 resting firmly on the top of the joist 24. The mounting bracket 54 is then slid toward the deck board 22 until the round spacer 52 rests against the board 22 as illustrated in FIG. 6. The extra length allows the centerline spacing of these screw holes 36 for bracket 54 to be approximately the same distance away from the edge of the deck board 22 as with the mounting bracket 20 even when the deck board 22 is rotated, for example, to a 45 degree angle relative to the length of the joist 24 as shown in FIG. 6.
This design allows the mounting bracket 54 used on either side face 24A of a joist 24 to obtain the same results. As in the first embodiment, the mounting bracket 54 is slid into position, one of the tabs 32 (not shown) is located between the top of the joist 24 and the underside of the first mounted deck board 22 to maintain the mounting bracket 28 in place without requiring holding by the installer.
As shown in FIG. 6, the circular cylindrical design of the round spacer 52 allows the deck board 22 to be rotated to virtually any angle while still maintaining an accurate spacing of the deck boards 22 based on the diameter of the spacer. The center axis of the upright spacer 52 is in the same plane as the centerlines of the two screw holes 36 in the upwardly oriented member 28 relative to the back of the mounting bracket 54 that rests against the joist 24. This feature ensures that the screw holes 36 remain a sufficient distance from the closest edge of the deck board 22 at any reasonable angle, preferably at least a 30 degree angle from the axis defined by the length.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 5-7, screws 44 and 42 mount the bracket 54 onto the joist 24 and the underside 22B of the deck board 22 using the same method shown in FIGS. 1-4 and discussed above with respect to mounting bracket 20.
FIG. 7 shows a second deck board 22 mounted against the round spacer 52 to establish the desired spacing based on the diameter of the spacer 52. A screw installed from the underside of the second deck board 22 completes the installation of the mounting bracket 54 to the second deck board 22. The spacer 52 separates the deck boards as in the first embodiment. While not illustrated, additional mounting brackets 54 mounted to additional joists 24 maintain the proper spacing at the selected angle along the length of the deck boards 22.
The first and last deck boards at the ends or sides of a deck structure attach to perimeter joists that are perpendicular to the rest of the joists. Since there is no adjacent board on the outer side, a mounting bracket similar to the brackets 20, 54 is used, except the bracket does not have an upright spacer 30, 52. The L-shaped mounting bracket without an upright spacer 30, 52 includes tabs and thus mounts to the first and last end joists to enable hands free installation.
Further, with regard to the first and last deck boards provided on an angled deck structure, the fastening method may require attaching these boards to the perimeter joists with nails or screws from above if the corner does not have enough room to use the angle mounting bracket 54 shown in FIG. 5.
Deck boards 22 are disclosed as wooden deck boards or a composite board. Deck boards, however, are also available in many materials including hardwoods, plastics and composites formed from a combination of materials.
The deck mounting brackets 20, 54 are desirably a clear transparent plastic material to assist in hiding the mounted brackets. Polycarbonate, such as LEXAN, does not corrode and is the preferred material.
The deck brackets 20, 54 preferably are a one-piece monolithic element formed by molding. Other integral arrangements of parts are also possible.
The attached Appendix pages (4 sheets) disclose specific dimensions for one preferred deck bracket and disclose particular installation steps.
Although particular preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in detail for illustrative purposes, it will be recognized that variations or modifications of the disclosed apparatus, including the rearrangement of parts, lie within the scope of the present invention.
Patent applications in class Depending cantilevered seat portion; e.g., joist anchor
Patent applications in all subclasses Depending cantilevered seat portion; e.g., joist anchor